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March 26, 2013

Kiribati acquires international funding for solar power

Kiribati acquires international funding for solar power

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Environment
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Solar panel installation in the United States
Image: U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Last Tuesday, AusAID Australia and the World Bank’s Global Environment Fund (GEF) reached an agreement to give the government of Kiribati US$5 million (AU$4,779,000, NZ$5,985,000, 3,885,000) to install solar panels around the country capital, located on the Tarawa atoll. According to Business Desk of the Brunei Times, AusAID promised AU$3.2 million in funding, while GEF promised US$1 million. The country was the first in the Pacific to make a deal with the World Bank.

The funding was part of a US$530 million (NZ$635 million) package announced at yesterday’s Pacific Energy Summit in Auckland involving New Zealand and the European Union, Australia, the Asian Development Bank, the European Investment Bank, the Japan International Cooperation Agency, the World Bank Group, and the United Arab Emirates. Also at the summit yesterday, New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully had announced a national commitment of USD$54,262,000 (AU$51,861,000 NZ$65 million, €42,178,000) to Pacific region energy solutions, of which US$8,348,000 (AU$8 million, NZ$10 million, €6,483,000) would be specifically earmarked for renewable energy and improved energy efficiency in the Cook Islands, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga, and Tuvalu.

A small school maneaba (equivalent to a school hall) in Nabeina, North Tarawa, Kiribati
(Image missing from commons: image; log)

Kiribati is heavily dependent on diesel fuel for most of the energy available on the national power grid, which supplies power to half Kiribati’s population of 110,000. In addition, a third of the country’s population lacks access to electricity. Once installation of the solar panels is complete, they are estimated to reduce diesel consumption by 230,000 liters (60,760 gallons) a year and give access to the electricity to some parts of the population that currently have no electricity. The European Union already has committed €100 million to sustainable energy in the region, with €10 million of that coming as a result of an announcement made last week.

In a press release about the news, Kiribati President Anote Tong was quoted as saying, “Kiribati faces big challenges it is remote, it is at risk from the effects of climate change, and it is vulnerable to economic shocks. […] Shifting Kiribati’s focus to reliable solar energy will provide a more secure, more sustainable power source for the country’s people.” Radio New Zealand International quoted Tong as saying, “It’s the first time we are doing this. We’re excited at the prospect of even substituting fossil fuel to a small extent at this stage. What the system being envisaged will only produce around 500 kilowatts, but this is the beginning of what I hope will be a pattern, the trend in the future.”

The European Union’s Fiji-based head of operations for the Pacific region, Renato Mele, supported alternative energy solutions like solar power for the region, but said that solar power had limitations because climate and environmental conditions sometimes meant batteries required to power the panels had a life of only 12 months, compared to other climates where batteries normally last five years. This created the potential to drive up standard operating costs. Mele has also noted these additional costs though are still lower than the cost of diesel power.

One News Pacific Correspondent Barbara Dreaver noted, “Governments will be able to put the money they (currently) spend on diesel into things like education and health.”



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February 5, 2013

UN adds to criticism of Australian offshore centers

UN adds to criticism of Australian offshore centers

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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Australia
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The UNHCR has twice won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1954 and 1981.
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The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) echoed criticism from other human rights groups yesterday as its new report called on Australia to cease the practice of holding asylum seekers in an uncertain status in its offshore facilities.

The UNHCR spent three days in January at an Australian facility located on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea. Following Australian mandatory policy, the more than two hundred detainees held there were detained upon requesting asylum. More than 30 children are being held at this Australian facility. The UNHCR report raised the crowded conditions at the camp as a cause for concern, as well as the impact isolation could have on the children. Australia has another facility for asylum seekers on the island of Nauru. The UNHCR report made clear Australia does not have a process for clearing the asylum seekers, which means their detention in the camps is indefinite and a violation of international human rights.

Caught in the middle of the debate is the new immigration minister Brendan O’Connor. O’Connor was named immigration minister this weekend. The following night, a boat load of 60 refugees who were approached near Christmas Island sought asylum. Monday, the UNHCR issued its report. Union leaders, amongst them Brendan’s brother Michael O’Connor who is national secretary of the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union, are calling for and end to current migration deals.

A report from Monash University found immigrants have taken 200,000 jobs created during the last two years, depressing employment of young, lower skilled Australians. Polls show a 70 percent majority of Australians stand opposed to the growth in population that will result from immigration.

Amnesty International points out that those migrants held in offshore processing facilities are not typical immigrants but rather asylum seekers. It says the latter category accounts for only three percent of Australia’s influx from immigration. Moreover, Amnesty International says the practice of offshore facilities for asylum seekers runs afoul of Australia’s own international agreements, such as the UN Refugee Convention, and laws, Australian Migration Act 1958.

In August, Prime Minister Julia Gillard indicated in talks with Nauru and Papua New Guinea that Australia was interested in quickly processing the asylum seekers.



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September 8, 2012

Samoa looking ahead towards Rio Paralympics with an eye on powerlifting

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Saturday, September 8, 2012

2012 Summer Paralympics

Trafalgar Square, London - London 2012 - countdown clock.jpg

Newest 2012 Paralympic stories

Leitu Viliamu, at the Paralympic Village in 2012. Viliamu is one of two Samoans who competed at this year’s event in London.
Image: Laura Hale.

Samoa Paralympics.ogg

An interview with the Samoa Chef de Mission Julie Tuala in London
Image: Laura Hale.

London, England — In an interview with Samoa‘s Chef de Mission at the London Paralympics, Julie Tuala said she hopes to get a powerlifting program under way in Samoa following the London Games.

The Samoa Paralympic Committee, she explained, with assistance from the Oceania Paralympic Committee is submitting a grant request to acquire the equipment necessary for a powerlifting program in Samoa; equipment costs around A$18,000 to A$20,000 used, and is specifically built for paraplegic competitors who need to be strapped down when lifting. If Samoa is successful in getting the money for the equipment, the next challenge will be finding money to cover the cost of freighting it to Samoa. Tuala and the nation’s athletics coach have previously held raffles, run events at a golf club, and run bake sales to assist in covering costs for developing disability sport in the country and look to do it again if they can get the grant. The last grant the International Paralympic Committee gave for the region for the equipment did not include Samoa.

According to Tuala, equipment costs are a major barrier to participation in the development of disability sport. Samoan London Paralympian Leitu Viliamu needs a new leg as she has outgrown hers. A high quality leg like the one worn by Oscar Pistorius can cost upwards of AUD$10,000 per leg. Viliamu and fellow Samoan Paralympian Milo Toleafoa only acquired real running shoes for the first time when they arrived in London.

Samoa has primarily sent athletics competitors to past Paralympics because of the cost factor.



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This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.

This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

August 30, 2012

Wikinews interviews Oceania Paralympic Committee President Paul Bird

Wikinews interviews Oceania Paralympic Committee President Paul Bird

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2012 Summer Paralympics

Trafalgar Square, London - London 2012 - countdown clock.jpg

Newest 2012 Paralympic stories

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Map of Oceania
Image: CIA World Factbook.

London, England — When Wikinews interviewed Oceania Paralympic Committee (OPC) President Paul Bird, the day before the start of this year’s Summer Paralympics, he shared the idea that whilst Oceania may not be the first place one thinks of in connection with “Paralympics” or even “developing countries”, Oceania is represented at the Games in London by athletes who have overcome many obstacles in order to compete.

According to Bird, two athletes from Oceania are regarded as medal prospects. One, Fijian high-jumper Iliesa Delana, missed out in Beijing due to his event being cancelled. He is currently ranked number two in the world, having won silver at the World Championships. The other is Francis Kompaon, a sprinter from Rabaul in Papua-New Guinea competing in the 100 and 200 metre sprints. These athletes qualified under the standard Paralympic processes. Other Oceania athletes are “wildcards”, selected by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) to broaden the number of nations taking part. Countries do not always get their preferred choices of wildcards; for a variety of reasons, the IPC may select a less-favoured athlete. In particular, women are more likely to be chosen to address the games’ gender imbalance.

It’s not easy being an athlete, or an official, from a developing country says Bird. Often people are confronted with a host of unfamiliar situations. For example: many of the required forms are now online; officials with little technology experience have to navigate an unfamiliar landscape of browsers, buttons and passwords.

The OPC consists of eight countries: Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, and Papua-New Guinea. Papua-New Guinea and Samoa are sending two athletes each to the London Games. Fiji, Tonga, Vanuatu, and the Solomon Islands are sending one each.

Bird says, in attempting to promote Paralympic sport in Oceania, the region’s Paralympic Committee puts a priority on training local officials, coaches and classifiers. This helps member countries conduct their own events, without assistance from Australia and New Zealand. Additionally, the Committee organizes the Arafura Games, a regional competition.

Countries in the region are encouraged by the OPC to assemble teams, get athletes into work rankings, and plan ahead for the 2016 Paralympics to be held in Rio. Efforts are being made to strengthened ties between the region and international bodies such as the International Tennis Federation.

Bird, as head of the OPC, has been a member of the Australian Paralympic Committee since 1993. He won gold and silver medals in swimming at the 1984 Paralympics where he was the Australian Team Captain. He was the Australian Chef de Mission in Sydney in 2000 and Athens in 2004, and the Assistant Chef de Mission in Barcelona in 1992, Atlanta in 1996, and Beijing in 2008. He also currently sits on the Australian Paralympic Committee’s board.



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This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.


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Wikinews interviews Oceania Paralympic Commitee President Paul Bird

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search
2012 Summer Paralympics

Trafalgar Square, London - London 2012 - countdown clock.jpg

Newest 2012 Paralympic stories

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Map of Oceania
Image: CIA World Factbook.

London, England— When Wikinews interviewed Oceania Paralympic Committee (OPC) President Paul Bird, the day before the start of this year’s Summer Paralympics, he shared the idea that whilst Oceania may not be the first place one thinks of in connection with “Paralympics” or even “developing countries”, Oceania is represented at the Games in London athletes who have overcome many obstacles in order to compete.

According to Bird, two athletes from Oceania are regarded as medal prospects. One, Fijian high-jumper Iliesa Delana, missed out in Beijing due to his event being cancelled. He is currently ranked number two in the world, having won silver at the World Championships. The other is Francis Kompaon, a sprinter from Rabaul in Papua-New Guinea competing in the 100 and 200 metre sprints. These athletes qualified under the standard Paralympic processes. Other Oceania athletes are “wildcards”, selected by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) to broaden the number of nations taking part. Countries do not always get their preferred choices of wildcards; for a variety of reasons, the IPC may select a less-favoured athlete. In particular, women are more likely to be chosen to address the games’ gender imbalance.

It’s not easy being an athlete, or an official, from a developing country says Bird. Often people are confronted with a host of unfamiliar situations. For example: many of the required forms are now online; officials with little technology experience have to navigate an unfamiliar landscape of browsers, buttons and passwords.

The OPC consists of eight countries: Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands and Papua-New Guinea. Papua-New Guinea and Samoa are sending two athletes each to the London Games. Fiji, Tonga, Vanuatu, and the Solomon Islands are sending one each.

Bird says, in attempting to promote Paralympic sport in Oceania, the region’s Paralympic Committee puts a priority on training local officials, coaches and classifiers. This helps member countries conduct their own events, without assistance from Australia and New Zealand. Additionally, the Committee organizes the Arafura Games, a regional competition.

Countries in the region are encouraged by the OPC to assemble teams, get athletes into work rankings, and plan ahead for the 2016 Paralympics to be held in Rio. Efforts are being made to strengthened ties between the region and international bodies such as the International Tennis Federation.

Bird, as head of the OPC, has been a member of the Australian Paralympic Committee since 1993. He won gold and silver medals in swimming at the 1984 Paralympics where he was the Australian Team Captain. He was the Australian Chef de Mission in Sydney in 2000 and Athens in 2004, and the Assistant Chef de Mission in Barcelona in 1992, Atlanta in 1996, and Beijing in 2008. He also currently sits on the Australian Paralympic Committee’s board.



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Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.


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August 28, 2012

Preparedness for 2012 Paralympic Games differs between National Paralympic Committees

Preparedness for 2012 Paralympic Games differs between National Paralympic Committees

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

2012 Summer Paralympics

Trafalgar Square, London - London 2012 - countdown clock.jpg

Newest 2012 Paralympic stories
  • 29 June 2014: Medal-seeking Spanish men arrive at 2014 Goalball World Championships
  • 26 June 2014: Belgian men’s goalball team departs for Finland for World Championships
  • 3 January 2014: Wikinews interviews Australian wheelchair basketball player Tina McKenzie
  • 15 August 2013: Wikinews interviews Spanish Paralympic swimmer Deborah Font
  • 11 August 2013: Wikinews interviews Spanish Paralympic swimmer Marta Gómez

The off-site offices of the Australian Paralympic Committee.
Image: Laura Hale.

London, England— With under forty-eight hours until the start of the 2012 Summer Paralympics, National Paralympic Committees are at different levels of preparedness in terms of sharing their message with the press.

One of the three teams with a presence in the Paralympics Media Press Centre (MPC), the Canadian Paralympic Committee, have prepared a media guide which is available online; unfortunately, they are still awaiting the arrival of paper copies from Canada.

Also based at the MPC, the US Paralympics delegation opted to go paperless. Instead, they made their media guide available online, with plans to release it on a USB flash drive at a later date.

The MPC-based Brazilian Paralympic Committee were the only National Committee on-site providing a paper media guide. Written only in Portuguese, they plan on publishing translated versions soon.

The Australian Paralympic Committee (APC) chose to be based off-site in the Novotel, Tower Bridge. According to APC representative Tony Naar, they have close relationships with all the media organizations who sent reporters to London, this justifying their decision to be located away from the Games site. The APC provides both an English-language paper media guide and an online one.

Team Great Britain and Papua New Guinea Paralympic Committee are also both located offsite, and both National Paralympic Committees have printed and online versions of their media guide.

The 2012 Summer Paralympics officially open this Wednesday.



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August 27, 2012

Preparedness for 2012 Paralympic Games different between National Paralympic Committees

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Monday, August 27, 2012

2012 Summer Paralympics

Trafalgar Square, London - London 2012 - countdown clock.jpg

Newest 2012 Paralympic stories

The off-site offices of the Australian Paralympic Committee.
Image: Laura Hale.

London, England— With under forty-eight hours until the start of the 2012 Summer Paralympics, National Paralympic Committees are at different levels of preparedness in terms of sharing their message with the press.

One of the three teams with a presence in the Paralympics Media Press Centre (MPC), the Canadian Paralympic Committee, have prepared a media guide which is available online; unfortunately, they are still awaiting the arrival of paper copies from Canada.

Also based at the MPC, the US Paralympics delegation opted to go paperless. Instead, made their media guide available online, with plans to release it on a USB flash drive at a later date.

The MPC-based Brazilian Paralympic Committee were the only National Committee on-site providing a paper media guide. Written only in Portuguese, they plan on publishing translated versions soon.

The Australian Paralympic Committee (APC) chose to be based off-site in the Novotel, Tower Bridge. According to APC representative Tony Naar, they have close relationships with all the media organizations who sent reporters to London; this justifying their decision to be located away from the Games site. The APC provides both an English-language paper media guide and an online one.

Team Great Britain and Papua New Guinea Paralympic Committee are also both located offsite, and both National Paralympic Committees have printed and online versions of their media guide.

The 2012 Summer Paralympics officially open this Wednesday.



See also

Sources

Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.

This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

August 24, 2012

Papua New Guinea represented by two Paralympians in London

Papua New Guinea represented by two Paralympians in London

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search
2012 Summer Paralympics

Trafalgar Square, London - London 2012 - countdown clock.jpg

Newest 2012 Paralympic stories
  • 29 June 2014: Medal-seeking Spanish men arrive at 2014 Goalball World Championships
  • 26 June 2014: Belgian men’s goalball team departs for Finland for World Championships
  • 3 January 2014: Wikinews interviews Australian wheelchair basketball player Tina McKenzie
  • 15 August 2013: Wikinews interviews Spanish Paralympic swimmer Deborah Font
  • 11 August 2013: Wikinews interviews Spanish Paralympic swimmer Marta Gómez

Friday, August 24, 2012

Image: CIA Fact Book.

London, England — With the 2012 Summer Paralympics starting in less than a week, parts of Papua New Guinea’s Paralympic delegation arrived in London earlier today in order to support the pair of athletes the country qualified for the Games, athletics competitor Francis Kompaon and powerlifter Timothy Harabe.

The Games are Kompaon’s second, having competed at the 2008 Summer Paralympics where he earned his country’s first Paralympic medal when he finished second in the 100 metre event. Harabe, only the tenth person ever to represent his country at the Games, is making his Paralympic Games debut.

The British High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea, Jackie Barson, MBE, wished both athletes well, saying in a written statement, “It is a fantastic achievement for the PNG to be represented by two world class Paralympic athletes”.

PNG Paralympic Committee President Bernard Chan also congratulated his country’s athletes, saying, “They will be great ambassadors for PNG and I hope both Francis and Timothy will inspire other athletes to train hard and hope to represent PNG at this Paralympic level during their participation.”

The 2012 Games will be the fourth time the country has participated, with the three other appearances happening at the 1984 Summer Paralympics, 2000 Summer Paralympics and 2008 Summer Paralympics. Other members of the Papua New Guinea 2012 Paralympic delegation include PNG Paralympic Committee President Bernard Chan; Chef de Mission Dr. Kefu Ma; team manager Rosemary Mawe; Davina Chan, the president’s wife; coach William McKenny; and official Jeffrey Robby.



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January 27, 2012

Wikinews Shorts: January 27, 2012

Wikinews Shorts: January 27, 2012 – Wikinews, the free news source

Wikinews Shorts: January 27, 2012

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A compilation of brief news reports for Friday, January 27, 2012.

If you believe any of these stories deserves more in-depth coverage, feel free to write a full article on the issues raised.

Medicins Sans Frontieres announces partial withdrawal over Libyan torture abuses

Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF) have announced a partial withdrawal from Libya. The medical charity announced they will no longer work at Libyan detention centres due to facing treating torture victims in order to make them well enough to be further tortured. MSF General Director Christopher Stokes said: “Our role is to provide medical care to war casualties and sick detainees, not to repeatedly treat the same patients between torture sessions”.

The United Nations estimates that some 8,500 former Gaddafi loyalists are being held by a number of unregulated, and unaccountable, armed groups.



Jagger tells World Economic Forum, “can’t always get what you want”

Lead singer of The Rolling Stones Mick Jagger has withdrawn from the ‘Great British Tea Party’ in Davos, Switzerland.

Cutting short his visit to the 2012 World Economic Forum, as well as pulling out of Prime Minister David Cameron’s event intended to promote UK creativity, Jagger complained of both “being used as a political football” and “comment[s] about my political allegiances which are inaccurate.”



UK Prime Minister calls for European Union to be more competetive

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, the UK Prime Minister David Cameron called on European Union leaders to be “bold” and “decisive” to boost growth and promote business.

Labelling a proposed financial transactions tax as “madness” he attacked “unnecessary” regulations on business, telling attendees that “Europe’s lack of competitiveness remains its Achilles heel.”



Coup in Papua New Guinea fails

A military coup in Papua New Guinea failed with the capture of at least fifteen mutineers. These supporters of deposed former Prime Minister Sir Michael Thomas Somare seized a military barracks, and the nation’s military head, early on Thursday morning and demanded Somare be reinstated.

The Supreme Court of Papua New Guinea previously ruled that Somare be reinstated, concluding that current Prime Minister Peter O’Neill was unlawfully appointed.



Australian Prime Minister rescued from protesters

During an Australia Day function, the country’s Prime Minister, Julia Gillard — and the leader of the opposition, Tony Abbott, had to be rescued after they were surrounded by as many as 200 aboriginal rights protesters at a Canberra restaurant.

The protesters, from the Aboriginal Tent Embassy, appear to have been angered by Abbot’s suggestion that it was time for the Embassy, now in its fortieth year, to come down.





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January 26, 2012

Wikinews Shorts: January 26, 2012

Wikinews Shorts: January 26, 2012 – Wikinews, the free news source

Wikinews Shorts: January 26, 2012

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A compilation of brief news reports for Thursday, January 26, 2012.

If you believe any of these stories deserves more in-depth coverage, feel free to write a full article on the issues raised.

US marine may serve no jail time for 2005 Haditha deaths

United States Marine Corp staff sergeant Frank Wuterich, on trial for the manslaughter of 24 innocent Iraqi citizens in 2005, has pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of “negligent dereliction of duty”; the result of a plea bargain, this may see Wuterich may serve no jail time.

Wuterich is one of eight marines initially charged with the Haditha killings.



Turkish Prime Minister claims that French bill is: discriminatory, racist and unjust

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has condemned as “discriminatory, racist and unjust” a bill passed by the French Senate criminalising denial of the 1915 Armenian Genocide.

Having cleared the National Assembly in December, the bill only needs President Nicolas Sarkozy‘s consent to become law.


Many feared dead in Papua New Guinea landslide

A landslide that struck early Tuesday morning, has engulfed a cluster of hamlets in a remote area of Papua New Guinea (PNG). Initial reports stated at least 60 people died in the disaster; however, with only four bodies recovered the authorities have now become more cautious in their estimates.

Whilst anticipating more deaths, Martin Mose of the PNG’s National Disaster Center said “I am unwilling to put a number on that until I get confirmation from my team.”





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